A retrospective study of patients from Wuhan, China, suggests that those with cancer have poorer outcomes from COVID-19 infections, and the researchers recommend screening all patients receiving antitumor therapies for the coronavirus and ceasing or reducing treatments that cause immunosuppression, according to a study from Annals of Oncology reported on in Cancer Network.
“[Patients with cancer] should receive anti-tumor treatment in the setting of vigorous screening for COVID-19, including chest CT scan and nucleic acid testing, and the same should be extended to their companions. Treatment strategies likely to cause immunosuppression should be avoided or have dosages decreased, and patients who are generally in poor condition should not receive such treatments,” the authors wrote. “In addition, at least 7 days prior to anti-tumor treatment, [patients with cancer] should stay in the observation ward and in isolation from other patients. Stronger personal protection, including protection mechanisms for their families should be made for [patients with cancer].”